Just like Teta used to make

Published:
01/04/2021

 

If you live or grew up on the North Shore, it’s likely you’ve been on at least one group pilgrimage to Teta’s.

Nestled inconspicuously in an ageing strip of shops on Babbage Road in Roseville Chase, this beacon of authentic Lebanese flavours has a loyal following among Northsiders.

It also holds a special spot in the hearts of my household, as it’s the closest thing my Turkish partner can get to the experience and taste of traditional cuisine outside of Western Sydney.

So, struck by another bout of homesickness for his anne’s (mum’s) cooking, my partner and I head down the road to this family-run favourite.

Teta’s means grandmother in Lebanese, an apt name for a place that evokes the feeling of being in a rustic family kitchen, with warm wood detailing, exposed brick and lush greenery draped from the ceiling.

We take a seat in a quieter section upstairs, surrounded by casual family dinners, groups celebrating special occasions and couples on date night.

That’s the thing about Teta’s – it’s exquisite food and relaxed but stylish atmosphere makes it perfect for most occasions.

When it comes to Middle Eastern food, I know well enough to sit back and let my partner do the ordering. 

We’re quickly served by the welcoming waiter, who even jokes good-heartedly that my partner seems to know what he’s doing.

Ever eggplant obsessed, he orders the batengen straight off the bat together with two glasses of light red wine.

The pan-fried eggplant dish is topped with thick, slightly tart yoghurt, aromatic garlic, pine nuts and paprika. 

Alongside the hot dish we indulge in a mixed platter of dips, served with crispy fried Lebanese bread.

The crunch of the bread perfectly offsets the creamy texture of the rich hummus, baba ghanouj and labne (yoghurt).

Next comes the course we’ve both been waiting for, the mixed skewers plate of chicken, lamb and kafte (ground beef, parsley, onions, garlic and spices). 

If you only order one dish at Teta’s, let it be this. 

My partner often jokes he ‘dreams about’ the slightly smoky charcoal-grilled chicken, while the lamb is well-marinated and the kofte deliciously fragrant.

The full plate also comes with light and fluffy garlic dip, fried bread, pickles and chips.

With his cravings satiated and our stomachs full to bursting, we leave this local gem knowing full well we will be back in a few weeks for another hit of that Lebanese hospitality and moreish Middle Eastern flavours.

Author:
Stephanie Aikins, News Editor, North Shore Living Magazine

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